Saturday, May 25, 2013

C'est Magnifique!

Un grand MERCI to the most gracious and beautiful hostess of the 
"Simply Irresistible:France" party....
Anita....tu es magnifique!

Un grand MERCI to all of the wonderful participants...your posts were creative, dreamy, and inspirational...and I am so grateful for the new blog friends I have made....

Vous etes magnifiques!

Un grand MERCI to my dear blog friend Dzintra...her invitation to create Donna Hay cook-ups together has led me to 
a glorious new culinary adventure....

Dzintra, dear, tu es magnifique!

I'm a bit behind this month....please visit Dzintra here 
to see her beautiful salad.

Amazingly we cooked from the same issue this time! If you are not familiar with this Australian cooking maven's magazine, do check it out at your local book store. It is gorgeous, and the recipes I have tried are unique and so delicious.....

 Coriander (cilantro) Pesto Potato Salad

 You can find the recipe here.
Oh my, this was SO GOOD!
If you like cilantro, you will love this....the cucumbers add crunch to this refreshing, yet filling salad, and I garnished with smoked salmon (always a favorite at our house) instead of the vibrant shiso leaves listed in the recipe. I wish I knew where to buy this herb....
please click on the link if you would like to learn more.
Have you ever tried shiso? I would love to know what it tastes like!

And for dessert.....

 Carmelised Peach, Brioche, and Maple Sundae

oh, wow....that is all I'll say...please let me know if you'd like the recipe, and I will leave it on your blog....

And last, but certainly not least...
Un grand MERCI to all of my followers, readers, and dear blog friends!
This Monday, May 27th, marks my 2nd year of is an understatement when I say that this experience has changed and enriched my life beyond all expectations. 
Thank You!!!

Vous etes magnifiques! :)

I was originally going to give away one copy of Jamie Cat Callan's new book, but for the "bloggyversary"... there will be two winners!

The book is available for pre-order at
for release on May 28th...
Please click here for a wonderful interview with the talented and lovely Jamie...

I used a most old-fashioned (yet effective) method to draw the winner....

38 names were placed into the hat

my lovely assistant closed her eyes as she mixed

and VOILA!

Congratulations Marsha of the blog

My apologies to Marsha, for some reason my computer has not been able to pull up her beautiful blog all week. I could not visit her, nor could I leave any comments.
Marsha, I will contact you through Anita! 

 One more name....

 Congratulations Karen of the blog Art by Karena !

 crab apple blossoms across the street....finally!

Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend full of Ooh La La! ;)
 A bientot!


  1. IRINA!!!!!!! I just emailed Marsha! SHE ALSO was the winner of Vicki's book at my blog! She is going to be so thrilled...a double whamy for her!

    Thank you my precious sister for this lovely post celebrating so many things, people, inspirations! That brioche sundae.....I will NOT even go there....that is scary-delicious looking! I would just have to RUN the opposite direction! And that rose photo of yours! WHERE DID YOU TAKE THAT? TOI, tu es magnifique ma belle, et merci de ton amitié....tu m'as bien inspirée, veritablement!

    What a joyful blog post and merci for all your support. I can't wait for Marsha to find out she won again! I sent her your link.


  2. MA BELLE! You came to visit! So happy to see you and yes, was this not a fantastic meeting of the minds and hearts? I do have more photos of where I lived in France, and I need to shuffle through those photos! I hope (when we get more SUN?) to take more photos of the house and gardens, as soon as more greenery opens up.

    Off to email! Anita

  3. Such a beautiful post! I had such fun at the link party... Congratulations to Karen and Marsha!

  4. Irina, my new friend, I simply cannot tell you how thrilled and excited I am to have won this book! I think I told you I needed it in one of my comments. So unexpected and such a good surprise, my birthday is June 10th so this will be one of my birthday presents this year. Thank you SO much. I loved participating in Anita's French party, I've met so many new friends and I know you have as well. Yes, blogging is wonderful. For those of us who stick with it we are making friends all around the world, who not only are virtual, but are actual as well. I am humbled by the spirit, brilliance and wit of all these women, and it makes me know we are all alike deep inside. The world would be a better place if all of humanity touched each other in this way. Enlightenment and education are the keys.
    Viva la France!

  5. Hi, Irina -
    Un grand merci to you! For all your lovely posts and friendship. Happy blog anniversary :) And congrats to the lucky winners!
    Have a wonderful Memorial weekend ~

  6. Oh dearest Irina what a fabulous party....just magnifique!!! And what a delicious looking meal and as usual I didn't see that one when looking through the magazine LOL!!! I am so pleased you have joined me in these cook much fun knowing you are doing one too!!! Thank you so much for the mention....

    Congratulations to your winners....I'm sure they will be thrilled....

    I was having the same problem with Anita's blog....I couldn't get in at all last week....very strange indeed!!!

    Definitely cooler here now but I am enjoying it.....sending love and hugs to you for a lovely weekend...Bon Appetit....Dzintra xo

  7. Irina, Indeed it was a delightful time roaming the French countryside with so many lovely bloggers! Congratulations to the winners of the book! We were thinking the same with our "random winner" ~ yesterday I photographed the hands of my 2 year old granddaughter as she
    picked a number out of a tea cup.... three kids here all day and they are coming back today
    and I'm wondering when I can do my post!!!

    ~ Violet

  8. Hello Darling Irina,
    Greetings from France and congratulations to your two lovely winners, both very deserving, wonderful ladies.
    Much Love

  9. I just love that picture of Anita, isn't she a class act! I never got through all the posts, still working on it though. I rarely try recipes because I don't like to cook, BUT I am CRAZY for potato salad AND am growing cilantro in my garden as we speak. Looks pretty, must taste pretty too. I am going to make it.

  10. Aaaahhh, there's our sweet Anita. I love that picture of her. The link party is always so much fun for me, and it's a chance to meet many new friends. These dishes look amazing, especially that Pesto Potato Salad. I will check her blog out right now.

    Have a wonderful week, my new blog friend.


  11. Congrats to you...Two years of blogging.I remember when I first started.It was such a grand time.
    And congrats to the winners.You both are lucky ladies.
    The food looks sooooo good.You made me hungry.The magazines fabulous.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Marie Antoinette

  12. Dear Irina,

    It was so lovely to meet you at Anita's party and find a new blog friend, thank you.
    Congratulations to your lucky winners and these recipes look wonderful - thanks for sharing.
    Almost the weekend, have a happy one



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